FINDLAY, OH (WTOL) - If they were a sports franchise, they would be considered a dynasty at this point. The city of Findlay has been ranked as the Top Micropolitan Community in the country for economic development.
"It's kind of neat when you think that there are 575 micropolitan communities across the country, and Findlay now for the fourth year in a row holds that distinction," Findlay Mayor Lydia Mihalik said.
This week, Site Selection Magazine once again listed Findlay as the best city with a population between 10,000 and 50,000 residents to build a new business in.
Hancock County represents only six percent of the population of northwest Ohio, but hosted 20 percent of northwest Ohio economic development in 2017 and 24 percent of job growth. Additionally, the county hosted 56 percent of their workforce commutes from outside counties.
However, leaders say the success is not just about drawing new businesses to the area, but also helping established companies grow.
"We've brought new business to town, but the expansion of our existing businesses here in Findlay is, I think, what really stands out to me," Mihalik said.
"If you look at the purpose of our office, the number one priority is retention and expansion," Findlay-Hancock County Economic Development Director Tim Mayle said. "So we're constantly out talking to the companies trying to understand what are their workforce needs, what are their sales needs, infrastructure needs for their growth and to be able to accommodate them."
Along with three current construction projects in town to facilitate new or expanding businesses, the final piece to their success is the community's local workforce.
"Whirlpool is a good example, last year they qualified for a construction project; this year they're bringing in 300 new jobs," Mayle said.
Also in northwest Ohio, Seneca County was ranked in the top 10 for micropolitan and Toledo ranked third in the state in their tier.
"There is a lot of strength in the region," Mayle explained. "We work with all of our counterparts in economic development through NORA, through the regional growth partnership. And it is great to see Tiffin and Seneca County, David Zak with what he is doing over there, to continue to succeed. Because truly, we really are one large regional economy, and we all need to work together."
Mayle also says they already have a lot of construction happening this year that should put Findlay and Hancock County in good standing for next year's site selection rankings.